let's make our neighbourhood more delicious!

projects and activities for delicious landscaping at and around Mairangi Arts Centre, and "around here"...

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working and playing for delicious times at and around Mairangi Arts Centre


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See schedule here

First Main Project (Nov 2017 - April 2018)
++ Check the schedule (always updating)

The Delicious Landscape Project is a programme of free public workshops and activities at and around Mairangi Arts Centre, with a focus on the creative and community-building possibilities of food.

Activities include preserving, juicing, utensil carving, ceramics, neighbourhood feasts, educational walks, and DIY permaculture gardening projects around MAC.

This project is an experimental and exploratory first step to develop awareness and "dig out" interested parties, with a view towards developing an ongoing programme around the multi-sensory medium of food.

Main collaborators: Chris Berthelsen, Tracey Sunderland, Shota Matsumura, Jack Tilson, and Rain Zuo/Galaxy Crafting Workshop.


serving dishes with clay carved out of the collapsing cliffs of Mairangi Bay

the utsuwa, vessel, holder contributes much to what it contains.

fruit, shelter, experimentation

did you know there were banana trees around here?

making friends is a tool for delicious landscaping

this bermside "bar" offers snacks made from local weeds and homebrewed beer to passers-by

snacking on out-of-control plants in a weird public berm-side offering of friendship, refreshment, and new tastes


chopstick holders from local clay. make meals more "elegant" and connect everyday rituals with stories, routines of making, and local resources.

celebrate the Year of the Dog

carve chopsticks, spoons, sharp sticks

making your own utensils is meditative. it makes you concentrate on the act of eating and brings pleasure in never-finished objects and iterative crafting. it adds another layer to your everyday experience.

experiment and "fold-in" ideas:

cockle grill & foot bath


with stuff growing at hand

exercise for getting to know plants and learning that "delicious" is not always related to taste

morning walks, casual offerings

delivery of "stumbled upon" veges in the Mairangi Arts Centre bush/hugelkultur patch

Based on: The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka

Let's learn and do about "do-nothing" gardening together in this group which combines reading and talking with practical "do-nothing" exercises in the Mairangi Art Centre gardens (hint and warning: "do-nothing" does not exactly mean doing nothing!)


wine from unglazed vessels of Mairangi Bay clay. Lack of glaze causes aeration for enhanced flavor and leaves stain memories on your wares

steep dandelion flowers in hot water for soothing tea and vivid color. add sugar for PUNCH. to each their own...

experiment, enjoy

making local clay dishes and cups and improvising snacks and treats to match and mutually improve

feed others

raise a ginger beer bug

play with natural soda making with living beings


your taste "sensations" to your neighbours (here, free a ginger beer tasting stall and recipe dispensary)

create stocks

ginger beer and ceramics from local clay

another style of home brew with donated tools


a friendly and improvised kakureya (Japanese: hidden spot) for slow and convivial eating, luring neighbours in off the street with a sign, using donated or improvised utensils, foraged common weeds, junk food, and canned #####

multifunctional devices

roast marshmallows, warm a footbath

bath from local residential rennovation, fire tin an oil can from local restaurant, skewers washed and reused from community yakitori feast, marshmallows from junk food aisle of local "super" market. Contraption by local weirdo, repurposed for more pleasures by kids.

mixtures of common weeds, slightly treated with common household pantry items

nasturtium leaves/flowers, onion weed (wild garlic) flowers/roots/stems, puha

spring onion factory

cut of roots of store-bought spring onions and leave in water to create infinite supply

berm-side oh! tsumami (drinking snacks) community feast open to chance encounter

snacking on shungiku grown in MAC gardens

(Glebionis coronaria, formerly called Chrysanthemum coronarium, is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family.)

always-growing menu at berm-side feast. new friends add their contribution to the menu as they arrive - a slightly wonky, out-of-countrol, and quite mysterious mix

berm-side Oh! Tsumami public feast of handmade snacks for "anyone"

mammoth, unruly, sun shade built at Rangitoto Kindergarten during Making Friends project

stocking up

ginger beer all year round and onion weeds from ANY park (that is not poisoned by chemicals) in spring

sweet sorrel syrup

kind of lemonade made from common weed

boil up a bunch in water with appropriate amount of sugar to form thick cordial (not toffee!). chill. mix with chilled water/soda water for weed lemonade that ACTUALLY is a treat

Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

a lemony shock for your salads or whatever - common weed

bamboo shoots

all over MAC and surrounding areas...

delicious treat for spring/summer, unexpectedly cut down and ground to nothing by council maintenance team one day. experience teaches us to notice and savour the various levels that our city infrastructures work on


with wild flowers in morning meditation session, explore your surrounds in fine detail


plum infused liquor

plums from fallen fruit at Rangitoto Kindergarten during sun-shade making workshop with waste fabric, summer-time.

preliminary activities (June - Oct 2017)

Juicing the Bay!
June 27/29 at MBS

This was a large-scale juicing and preserved syrup making session (riot!) using donated fruit from neighbourhood trees!

"weeds" tempura cafe

A free roadside cafe travelling around our streets offering tempura treats (savoury and sugar-cinnamon "donuts") made of edible "weeds" and flowers in our local parks and informal greenspaces. Also offers MAC-brewed ginger soda - MORE

roadside halloween stall

with Japanese-style handmade treats (baby castella choco dip, cucumber and miso dip) and roasted marshmallows over Japanese grill - courtesy of Weird Bird

ginger soda experiments

A session which involved experimenting with various flavourings for MAC-brewed ginger soda - MORE

handcrafted lollypops

candy created from sugar syrup of local "weeds" (yellow wood sorrel and mint) and sticks hand carved from fallen twigs - MORE

"do nothing onion" session

introducing and snacking on "onion weed" - a free and delicious treat commonly found in parks and informal greenspaces all over Auckland during Aug-Oct - at Mairangi Bay School during lunchtime.

We did the first planting of the MBS Orchard at Mairangi Bay School on Sept 1!

Thank you to all who helped out with the first planting of the MBS orchard on Sept 1.

Creating a delicious resource for our school is fun and relaxing when there are so many hands and hearts!

Please join the MBS PTA Facebook group or sign up for email updates to find out about future plans and community feasts! - Of course, if you have any ideas, we are very happy to help you do them!

juicer apparatus improvisations

Tracey and Chris' juicing station at Mairangi Arts Centre was appropriated by many and turned into a toolkit for improvising weird juicing machines over the school holidays!

hanging garden

Amy introduced us to the wonders of cut-up wine bottle self-watering hanging gardens as part of our ongoing investigations into a more edible Mairangi Bay...

are you interested in the Mairangi Orchard?

It's a free orchard scattered around our neighbourhood, made up of existing fruit trees in private gardens and public spaces. Excess fruit is used in free workshops to make delicious and useful treats for all.

DIY microgreen nursery for small spaces

Amy introduced us to the powers of this mysterious microgreen growing machine as part of our investigations into a more edible Mairangi Bay

kawakawa & orange experiment

happened at Mairangi Arts Centre on 13 (Tues) June, Morning-Tea Time.

we took a chance on pleasure and taste, making kawakawa-infused oranges, and a peel + kawakawa tea using resources from the neighbourhood.


Many people kept anonymously replenishing our stock of seasonal citrus from local private gardens but when we ran low we took out this weird handmade "wheelbarrow" made of stuff scavanged from "around here".

+ sign up for email updates about delicious landscapes here

- follow Mairangi Arts Centre on Facebook HERE

- send contact about delicious landscapes to Chris (and he will link you with someone who is good) chris@a-small-lab.com / 022-0854-866 / 28 Maxwelton Drive - ALWAYS open!

+ in collaboration with Mairangi Arts Centre, provided with support, in part, from Hibiscus and Bays Local Board (First Main Project, Nov 2017 - April 2018) and Creative Communities Scheme (Preliminary Activities, June-Oct 2017)